I first found Laura of @palmpaperhouse via her stories on instagram when she was deliberating about her front garden and whether she should maximise her planting; I obviously messaged her saying “ALL, EVERYTHING, MAXIMISE!” and a connection over a shared love of new build projects was born! Laura is a another diamond out there who is passionate about making a new build property into a characterful home.
Laura’s home is not your standard new build property and she has skilfully steered clear of any clichés. She combines strong colours with bold wallpaper choices throughout and avoids any room in her home feeling “themed” or “matchy.” I am particularly in love with her bathroom where Laura has chosen a super dark hue that verges on black; colours that can feel so daunting in a New Build property. I was thrilled to get to know Laura better and understand more about her home and style!
Laura, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us! Nothing about your style says New Build Show Home, and I’m always intrigued what attracts people to new builds when their style is so different from the “Show Home” look…
I personally never wanted a new build. I thought they had no character and felt cold. I think this was because most of the new builds which I had been in were very plain, which I think was down to people being too scared to go for it with decorating because the house builder frowns upon it so much. There’s also the scary concept of getting rid of the fresh white Walls! I wanted a fire place and detailed alcoves. But my fiancé, Brendan, was always the opposite and after many discussions about how we can have it the way we want it from the word go and that no one else would have ever used our toilets I was sold!
Haha! Nothing like a virgin loo seat! I remember when we moved in and one of the removal men asked to use the facilitates and I was so upset that he christened our downstairs loo!
I absolutely agree on the nervousness a lot of us have about bold décor in a new build; almost feels like you are “ruining it” which is ridiculous really since its your home! When we first moved I really wanted that grey show home look, but after 6 months of the white box (like you enforced by our developer!) I was ready to add some personality! How long have you been in your home, its coming together so nicely!
We have been in now for 9 months and we love everything about it. The area is great, it’s a small development and our neighbours are all so friendly. I love that it was a blank canvas, the house and garden in fact. We can do anything we want without having to deal with the aftermath of anyone else’s mess.
We have a persimmon Hanbury, a 3 bed end terrace in a small cul’de’sac. It’s perfect for a first home and I really think it will grow with us, as it’s perfect for a small family too. We chose this plot as it had the biggest garden on the whole estate, it’s huge! Which definitely goes against what people think you get with new houses!
You are so fortunate; we had the opposite! There was only one plot of our house type left so we had to have the smallest garden! Luckily its still a decent size; you’re absolutely right that people assume the gardens will be rubbish; it depends completely on the developer and plot. if you can nab a corner plot you can end up with a HUGE garden! Can’t wait to see how you landscape your garden when you start on it! Back to this interior… What has been your biggest challenge with decorating your home?
Possibly choosing what to have! What colour to paint or what wallpaper to go for! I’m really lucky as Brendan doesn’t care what I do, he trusts my vision even if he does think it sounds a bit OTT when I try to explain what I want to do. With the walls being plain white it was a breeze to decorate!
You are lucky! Although I have to say Mr PHD does eventually get persuaded into my vision for rooms; but I quite often have to build them up steadily!! How would you describe the style in your home?
I don’t think I have a style, but when people come in to my home they all say that I do. Some say it’s vintage, some say quirky, some say brave! I have always said I will only ever buy things because I like them, not because it just ‘goes’ or because it ties in with the theme. I think if you love something you will always love it, so you won’t ever want to get rid of it.
You’re speaking my language Laura!! I think when you fall into the trap of buying what “matches” you end up with a cliché home that you don’t LOVE; and as I always say – the only people that need to love your home are those that live in it! I bang on about this a lot in my post “How To Restyle a Room” I always find it funny when people describe our own style as “brave” and wonder if they are too polite to say that they don’t like it and that’s the alternative word they’ve gone for! I think though, it does take guts to move away from the “Show Home Effect,” so what advice would you give a new build home owner?
Don’t be scared to turn your clean white house into something different. If you don’t like the outcome, you can go back to the way it was. Have fun experimenting and if you like something, buy it. Even if it doesn’t go with anything you own… yet!
Home Tour of @PALMPAPERHOUSE
Laura’s Top 5 Favourite Instagram Accounts:
@pinkhouseliving : when you see her house you will understand why, it’s just incredible, everything I wish mine was and more, also the reason I’d like an old house!
@mother_of_daughters : all round amazing woman to be honest, but she’s recently moved from London to Kent and is doing up an amazing house. The transformations are incredible
@marthashappilyeverafter : beautiful lady doing up an amazing house!
@emiliewaffles : as a fellow slimming world-er I love reading Emilie’s posts. She’s such a brilliant soul and her food posts look delicious. There’s also a few snippets of her amazing house in there too!
@life_with_ivycoco : funny, stylish and eccentric, it’s not all about houses for me, this lady is real, and makes you feel normal which I love!
Laura is definitely one to follow! Its hard to believe from seeing the progress on her home that she’s actually only lived there 9months! Having newly moved in I for one cannot wait to see the on going progress of Our Hanbury as Laura continues doing up rooms and evolving their home.
Are you putting character into your new build? Or perhaps you know someone who is going against the “Show Home” look in their New Build… Please get in touch! We are looking for more new builds to collaborate with, share New Build Journey inspiration and ban the boring! Please contact us via this link